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The iconic hot air balloon with 'CBR' written on it flying over Canberra during sunrise.

What's on in Canberra this autumn

Updated 26 Feb 2024

Discover what's new in Canberra

In autumn (March-May), experience Australia’s capital with this bucket list of the best activities, from exploring internationally acclaimed art exhibitions to taking leisurely strolls adorned with the warm hues of falling leaves. Your autumn experience in Canberra is bound to be unforgettable.

Image Pew Pew Studio

Stroll through vistas of autumn leaves

Autumn is an extraordinarily beautiful time to visit Canberra, when the stunning cityscape plunges into tones of red, gold, russet, ochre and crimson as the city’s exotic trees transform. Head to the shores of Lake Burley Griffin, alongside the National Carillon, or throughout the National Arboretum Canberra to take in the kaleidoscope of colours first-hand.

Formula one style red and blue racing car

Live life in the fast lane

For lovers of speed, this festival brings to Canberra some of the fastest machines on Australian roads and racetracks. Held in beautiful parkland with over 300 of the world’s most exotic cars, the Festival of Speed is motorsport's ultimate garden party. Experience a journey from sports cars to Formula One at this two-day celebration of the world's most glamorous vehicles.

four women cheersing with wine with good view over vineyard in background
Image Martin Ollman

Linger long over lunch at a winery

Cooler weather and red wine are a match made in heaven. Enjoy a local drop over a long lunch at one of the Canberra Wine District’s cellar door restaurants. Among the popular spots for a lazy lunch are Lake George WineryShaw WinesPoachers PantryFour Winds Vineyard, Nick O’Leary Wines, and Tallagandra Hill.

Kids around 7 years old sitting in purple light of a theatre in a live science show at Questacon | © Martin Ollman
Image Martin Ollman

Enjoy indoor fun for the whole family

Head to Kingpin in the city centre, where you’ll be spoiled for choice with laser tag, bowling, arcade games, escape rooms, and an impressive food and drink menu on offer. From trampolines to dodgeball and even a dedicated miniBOUNCE Zone for junior jumpers, at BOUNCE the whole family can flip and hurl themselves into the air at their heart’s content. 

Watch enthralling live science demonstrations and visit Questacon’s galleries where you can feel the force of an earthquake and watch lightning strike the same place twice.

Emily Kame Kngwarreye, Anmatyerre people, Untitled (awelye), 1994

Be amazed by worldclass art exhibitions

Immerse yourself in the past as Discovering Ancient Egypt graces the halls of the National Museum of Australia (15 Dec 2023—8 Sep 2024) with over 220 historical artefacts. And continue your tour of captivating galleries with the Emily Kam Kngwarray exhibition at the National Gallery of Australia (2 Dec 2023—28 Apr 2024).

If those worldclass artworks aren’t enough to knock your socks off, spend more time at the National Gallery in awe over the first survey exhibition of acclaimed Western Aranda artist Vincent Namatjira, in Vincent Namatjira: Australia in colour (2 Mar—21 Jul). Charting the artist’s career, revealing the power of his painting, and the potency of his words, it’ll be a show you’re not likely to forget.

Illumination activities as part of Enlighten Festival 2021

Enjoy one of the many free events at Enlighten Festival

 

Enlighten Festival will light up the nation’s capital between 1-11 March, with the Canberra Balloon Spectacular filling the sky with wonder from 9-17 March. This annual autumn festival features stunning architectural projections of light, sound, and movement during the Enlighten Illuminations and a program bursting with events for music, film, and art fans. Check out the full festival program to not miss a moment.

The dome at the war memorial looking over the outdoor memorial space, with an elderly man giving a tour to two men and two women. | © Rohan Thompson Pew Pew Studios
Image Rohan Tompson

Pay tribute at a Last Post Ceremony

Every day the Australian War Memorial farewells visitors with the Last Post Ceremony paying tribute to an individual who served our nation. With major building redevelopment works underway, bookings for your visit are now essential and some areas are temporarily closed.

All visitors require a free-timed ticket to enter the Memorial Galleries and attend the Last Post Ceremony. Visitors should book their free ticket in advance to guarantee entry. Last Post Ceremony tickets are a 1 hour ticket and includes access to the Roll of Honour and Hall of Memory. Explore the Memorial’s World War I and II exhibitions or hire a headset to see the highlights on a self-guided audio tour.

On Anzac Day (25 April) come together in person and in spirit, to commemorate and reflect upon the service and sacrifice made by Australians in all wars and on operations, and the legacy created by those who landed at Gallipoli and fought for our nation and our values, during the First World War.

Image Martin Ollman

Explore the great outdoors with the experts

Learn about native animals and the capital’s natural landscape while enjoying an outing with Canberra Guided Tours. Or explore Mulligans Flat Woodland Sanctuary on a Twilight Tour, where reintroduced species thrive in the healthy box-gum woodland just north of Canberra.

Reconnect with the land and learn about First Nations’ culture with Dhawura Tours and Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation to learn more about the true heritage of the nation’s capital. Or for unbeatable views of the major sights and the Brindabella mountain range from above, jump into a chopper with Helicopter Corp.

Image Martin Ollman

Stock up on regional produce at our markets

Who doesn’t love a market for tasty treats and people watching? The Capital Region Farmers Market is a hive of activity each Saturday morning. Grab brunch and chat to the producers of some of the best regional produce on offer. The Little Burley Market is the place to be for a leisurely lakeside stroll on a Saturday morning. 

Or head to Haig Park Village Markets in Braddon or the Old Bus Depot Markets in Kingston on a Sunday morning, each sporting yummy treats and gifts, and surrounded by culture hubs with lots more to explore.

Cheers to a great break in Canberra

Taste award-winning craft beers at brewpub BentSpoke Brewing Co. Or flock to The Canberra Distillery which is famed for its unique and delicious gin creations. Head to the Dairy Road precinct to enjoy Capital Brewing Co which became the first brewery in Australia to achieve a carbon neutral certification in 2022. Or nearby you can join in on one of Dave’s Tours for a visit to some of the city’s finest breweries, wineries, and distilleries (including the likes-of Big River Distilling Co.), for a taste of all the capital’s best drinks.

See the sights from a hot air balloon

Watch as the pink, purple, and gold hues burst and sunrise gently lights up the surrounding mountains as you float across the sky with Balloon Aloft. Depending on the way the wind takes you, sights-from-above include the iconic National Museum of Australia and its looping Uluru line sculpture as well as the impressive architecture of Australian Parliament House.

Plan your autumn getaway

Autumn at Tallagandra Hill

Tallagandra Hill

family of 4 walk up the Questacon ramp by the ticket desk

Questacon – The National Science and Technology Centre

Tour guide and group outdoors learning about the land

Dhawura Tours

WIne Machine at Lake George Winery 2019

Lake George Winery

Cottage

Tallagandra Hill Winery Accommodation

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